What's Offensive?

This topic contains 120 replies, has 20,126 voices, and was last updated by  1_optimistic 13 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #19554

    Deirdre
    Participant

    What I love about this forum is that there is so much to be learned and folks share openly. Thank you.

    There are reasons for bitterness on both sides. As a college student, I was very disappointed to learn that Natives held slaves, and equally disappointed to learn that Blacks bought into the derrogatory belief that Natives were ignorant savages. It’s very sad, but I agree with Lewis. We were pit agianst each other whether consiously or unconciously and that Africans, in bondage or free, were not responsible for the conquest of Natives; rather we were all caught up in the newly imposed capitalist system that used us all as pawns. Wisdom has allowed me to understand that those who are used for the gain of others cannot and should not be blamed for the denegration of a whole group of people. Even if it’s after affects causes us to denegrate ourselves.

    Linda, I guess I appreciate the acknowledgement of recognizing that some BLacks were “friends”, but mixed bloods are more than friends of the Native population. If you really desire to move towards being equals as it is stated in the US Constitution, I believe that you must begin to view us as a part of you, as the distant relatives that we are and embrace the fact that there is an overwhelming love that exists when people are, as Lynne Pepper said it, pure in their motive and seek merely to claim their relatives. Personally, deep satisfaction will occur in me the day I can locate the gravesite of an ancestor and give honor to that person’s struggle, sacrifice, pain, love, and life which brought me here. For me, it is a huge issue to be denied by Natives as a part of our growing American family. I feel locked out by all the bitterness. I understand the history, the hurt, and the pain, but I (all mixed bloods) am and are still entitled to claim our ancestors and their ways if we so choose to honor them that way. Personally, I will not let bitterness turn off the voices of my ancestors which keep calling to me. I hope that none of us do. It all has to be in proper perspective though. This is why I will wear the Native pieces I like (with understanding of their meanings) and the African dashiki’s (also with understanding of the meaning in the fabric patterns and designs). It’s not about being “just black” or “claimimg NDN” falslely because I am ashamed to be black. But I (all mixed bloods) have a right to be all of what we are without having to explain or justify it to others. Despite the things of the past, I feel that I have just as much a right to know about and begin to practice NDN ways without suffering any ridicule, as any full blood has-yet is misunderstood if he/she doesn’t due to pressure to assimilate to the dominant culture. If the Creator sees only people, as you say, then this should be fully understood and acceptable. I’m offended by accusations that mixed bloods are not authentic and do not matter. We are the result of a VERY wicked system that destroyed your ancestors AND MINE – NDN and BLACK. I guess I’m rambling on now. Like I said before, we all need healing. Psychologists say that this is the only way we are going to get it. To hash it all out.

    -Be in Peace

    Golden Swallow

    aka Deirdre

    #19556

    Deirdre
    Participant

    Linda,

    I do understand your original point. I do, but it is hard for me to separate myself from all of who I am and really see this objectively. I think I would offend if I denied who I am and simply lived with the title given to me based soley on my phenotype. For example, I would hate to be a FB and be forgotten by future generations because they were mixed bloods who were made to live as society dictated.

    I had to come into the realization of what slaves endured, just as I am coming into awareness of how deeply Natives have been affected by the presence of WHItes and Africans. Truth is, so much is actually offensive. Just as I will not allow myself to forget all of the attrocities of the “peculiar institution”, I will not deny all of what brought NDNS and AFicans together. For some, it may have been under shameful circumstances, for some it may have been beautiful.

    -Deirdre

    #19559

    quest for facts
    Participant

    Deidre,

    Your feelings are completely acceptable. The reason I said the things I did is because in some earlier posts it seems like the white man was being blamed for ALL of it when in reality it was so few of them doing the dirty deeds. For example when I search into my family I find docs explaining how they helped the native people and how so few actually owned slaves at all.

    First and foremost Deidre I am an ndn. As I continue to learn customs and such I realize more and more how my raising was in the ndn way. So much was passed on to me without a real explanation as to why it was this way or that way.

    I wish I realy had time to write all I am thinking about but duty cal and i need to head to work. Please understand i was not trying to cause a problem at all just trying to make a few points as to history and things that are still today causing racism. The Creator loves us all race does not matter.

    Linda

    #19560

    lynne pepper
    Participant

    Hello all.

    You can’t fix the past, anymore than you can get the lactose intolerance and Von Willibrand’s disease out of your body.

    Here is an issue that we can all weigh in on, on a volutary basis of course….and that is…being Indians of mixed blood ( and lets be frank here, on the east coast at least, that applies to 98% of all Indians, be they fed recognized or not)…being of mixed blood….how are we going to conduct ourselves? Do we bend to the pressures of other groups who want to capture us into their demographic and force us to identify with them? And an even deeper question…do you as a person really, perhaps secretly in your heart, want to be part of that demographic? What does your heart tell you to do?

    This is a very human question…..but the forces of this world place us in a position where demands are put upon us to do this very thing. As mixed blood people who claim NA heritage…will we then be forced to hyphenate what we are? This happens…this happens especially when talking to OTHER people who aren’t in the position that we are. When we do that kind of hyphenating among ourselves…what are we doing? Is it any wonder that other tribes of Indians think that we are neither fish nor fowl? We keep doing that to ourselves. And as we see ourselves….we will project this kind of waffeling to other people. They will continue to judge, accept, or reject us based, IN PART, on how we describe ourselves.

    Now I am listed as white by our great government. Both of my parents are listed as white. Their parents are listed as white. My mother, in fact, was about as white as any hollywood babe was ever white…whitey whitey white. Yet she and my father were a devoted and loving couple. My father was thrown away by his Indian mother…be she listed as white or what, she described herself as a Haliwa…LONG before they were recognized as anything but a bunch of crazy people who thought that they were Indians. My mother’s family took my Dad into their hearts and home. Cared for his wife and daughter while he was fighting WWII. Sheltered him when he came home until he could buy a couple of acres of an old cotton field and build his family a home…all by himself. This is what I care about. That they had good blood and good values. What their respective ancestors did in the past, victim, victimizers, easy or uneasy bedfellows, is really beyond my knowing. I could put flowers on all their graves…if I had any idea where they were buried…which I don’t.

    And this is the best way to keep it, I think. If I had to refight all their battles and cry all their tears, I wouldn’t be able to do that for myself in my own life.

    Now back to Indian adoption. Because of war and disease, many tribes adopted people of all races just to keep their numbers up. A lot of these adoptions were not voluntary, this needs to be said. But it happened anyway. These adoptees were not singled out as not being part of the tribe. Tribes KNEW that they faced extinction. They made a decision to either coalese with other tribes and become a blended tribe, and/or take in new members to live as they did. They knew that they couldn’t beat demographics with their own numbers and rates of reproduction and infant mortality. Mixed blood Indians began at least 300 years ago…if not sooner than that.

    So what are we going to do? When we see the photos of each other, when we meet in real life…its going to be pretty apparent what the dominant phenotype is. Is this going to shock anyone? Is it going to cause other people in our group here to secretly mark you down as a black, white, lookin’ more Indian, less Indian……I hope not. We have all been very upfront about what we are and where we came from, and what we feel.

    Our Indian ancestors…and they aren’t the only ones we’ve got….adopted in other people to keep themselves from going extinct. We all know this. If we don’t identify ourselves as Indians first and foremost, then their hopefull plan would have come to nothing. They knew what they were doing. Do we know what we are doing?

    Regards,

    Lynne

    #19561

    lynne pepper
    Participant

    Originally posted by Dreaminghawk

    This has become a phenomenal (sp) thread. I applaud everyone’s candor and civility. Before I add any comments, please read the thread at the link below. It is my story of coming of age in the 60’s in klan country.

    http://www.saponitown.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1024&highlight=it+aint+right

    Ken

    Thanks Dreaminghawk for your personal insight.

    I used to live in what was a small town, less than 1500 people. We all knew each other. When school intergration came…all at once…..it was seamless. Then we went to a high school in a bigger town, it was fine for a couple of years, and then all hell broke loose. We used to sneak out of school into the woods and meet up and share a joint, and then decide if we were going back in there…today…or just walk the 6 miles into our town thru the woods and go back tomorrow…tomorrow might be better.

    Tomorrow, that is today, might be better, or it might just be different…one of the white boys arrested during the troubled times in high school, his daughter married a black guy…not anybody we knew….and he had a caniption fit. 16 years later, he came to accept the situation, the family came together, and now they are a biracial family. Better? Maybe things get better one family at a time.

    Lynne

    #19570

    quest for facts
    Participant

    Lewis, I don’t have a problem with anyone here. Every person has the right to feel the way they do. I just want change for ndn people. I want us to be able to acknowledge who we are without people slamming us. So may mixed bloods, As Lynne was saying, decided not to acknowledge that part of themselves decided to betray that part of themselves. This is not what our ancestors wanted. If my family had wanted us to leave our ways behind I would not have Nottoway, Saponi, probably some Tuscarora and Nansemond blood in my veins. I may well have some Mattaponi too just not sure of it all right now. I was simply told ndn my whole life but little did they know they were giving me hints all along so I would know my people when I met them. I don’t think my grandmother knew which tribe because we are so many but the dominate vein that was passed down was definitely Nottoway. When I talk with my Nottoway brothers and sisters it is like we just click. Once many many years ago my grandmother said Sioux which is what lead me to the Saponi. She didn’t say Blackfoot nor did she say Saponi she said Sioux. This was back in the 60’s. Ido not know how she came up with Sioux but she did. We have one person left our lines and her history is sooooo elusive but it has been passed down she was a full blood. Everyone connected to this family claims native blood and they all say she was a full blood. Her name was Rebecca and that is all I know for sure. She was born in the early 1800’s but we have no idea where she was born. So many of my cousins claim she was Cherokee but I think most likely she was Nottoway. What I do knowfor sure is my family have been mixed bloods since the late 1600’s. Marriage after marriage between mixed bloods with this full blood entering our family in the 1800’s. My desire now is to find out where she came from andwho she was and who are my family members from her lines. Inthis particular line she could have been anyone. They were wanderers who always returned to North Carolina to live out their lives.

    Linda

    #19575

    Red Metis
    Participant

    Bammity-bam bam bam!!!

    Wow…I really have to say how much I admire the honesty and words of EVERYONE here. I am amazed at the strength in your words–I can’t really express what I want to say–I’m coming down with some bug/critter–got mind fuzz.

    In any case, even when there is disagreement, we have kept going, kept pushing and something good comes out in the end. I can see us sitting around the fire and nodding our heads while listening to one another speak. This is a good, good thing. I believe that something will come of what has began here.

    Lynne, funny you should pick those two conditions–I have both. Do you have a medical background?

    Your words added more to the cauldron–don’t know what will imerge now. I can honestly say that I’m not sure what I am trying to do. I name myself as metis but our country doesn’t recognize them like Canada. Most people don’t know what the term means and it is certainly a blurred line. I like it because it encompasses everything while the common denominator is NA heritage. Even so…not sure how to put it.

    I like the statement about not being slammed for who we are or maybe even further, for saying who we are even if our appearance is perceived as something else.

    Okay, y’all have to forgive me–there’s lots more I’d like to say but I need to help my immune system with a cup of oregano tea and a good SF book. G’night all and peace be with you.

    #19579

    quest for facts
    Participant

    you know I think Rebecca is so important because I carry her mtDNA. Mine would match hers exactly. At some point I plan to take the mtDNA test and see if there are any matches anywhere on this planet so I will finally know where Rebeca came from. Another odd thing is that Rebecca had many daughters, Lurana her daughter had 4 daughter 0 sons, Mary susan her daughter had 3 daughters Nancy her daughter had 4 daughters and her daughter Katie had 7 daughters and 1 son. My mother had 3 daughters and 1 son. Some pattern huh? Girls Girls Girls LOL If you want a house full of girls have your children with a woman from this line LOL my two sisters both have 2 girls and 0 sons…I have one child and he’s a boy….it does happen once in a while LOL…

    Linda

    #19587

    quest for facts
    Participant

    I have Von Willibrands so does my mother

    #19594

    lynne pepper
    Participant

    I have this, both my daughters have this, and all three of us also are lactose intolerant. We also don’t digest sugar very well. We all have a very low tolerance for alchohol….it may be the sugar in it….I don’t know. But sugar, alchohol and milk make us sick. And we are bleeders.

    Lynne

    #19614

    1_optimistic
    Participant

    If you don’t mind by me asking, what do you mean by “Bleeders?” I’ve come to the conclusion that I am Lactose Intolerant…….my intermediate family too.

    My father was in the hospital in January b/c he was bleeding severly.

    Erica Lewis

    #19631

    blackindiangirl
    Participant

    So much has been discussed here, it’s really quite interesting! By my sn you all can see how I define myself…..which doesn’t really do me justice because I haven’t given my Caucasian roots a place in my name…..I guess I would have to consider myself tri-racial. I don’t wish to offend anyone.

    I’m kinda late on the subject of appearance and hair……I’m brown skinned. And my hair is soft and naturally wavy jet black…..curly when wet. I’ve got black eyes that scare even my sister and dad when I stare or glare at them. Black people tell us that we have “that good hair”. What’s interesting though, is that one of my brothers and one sister have reddish hair. All of my neices and nephews have reddish brown hair. We think this comes from my mother’s side. They are freckle-faced, fair-skinned, light-eyed and brown/red-haired people. The heavy dark NDN roots are on my father’s side.

    Other NDNs just look at us w/recognition, but they don’t say anything. I always wondered why. Of the 7 or so tribes on my father’s side, only the Pamunkey’s have been really open-armed to us. Oh, and of course the Blackfoot Saponi’s here!!! Thank you guys for this forum!!:)

    Oh, by the way…..how do we add photos on here?

    Thanx for letting me throw in my 2 cents!

    #19632

    quest for facts
    Participant

    Erica,

    Lynne and I both have something called Von Willibrand it is a genetic bleeding disorder which means we bleed freely. There are different classifications and i am supposed to have the least dangerous kind but even when I get a paper cut there is a big difference between my bleeding and other peoples. I had one child and nearly bleed to death doing it, never did it again.

    Linda

    #19633

    lynne pepper
    Participant

    Yes, Like Quest, said, with VonWillebrands you bleed freely. Your clotting time is not very good. A shaving nick can bleed for 35 minutes, leaving bloody footprints….it just won’t stop. Half a roll of toilet paper can be used on a nick.

    I have tried “Stop Bleed”, a brand name spray on that is supposed to seal off your skin. If its just a paper cut…which can bleed for 10 minutes….it works. But you have to have a fairly superficial cut. Stop Bleed works in most minor instances. I carry it with me to keep blood off the mail when I get those cuts.

    If you suspect that you have this clotting disorder…please get a test. It really helps before you have any kind of surgery, because they can give you something to help you clot normally before you do.

    We had a thread about Indian diseases that …perhaps…all of us should be aware of.

    Lactose intolerance can take many forms from one person to the next. It can make you vomit, or give you painful stomach distress, or gas, or affect your lower digestive tract in that it constipates you very badly. Some people can eat yogurt, but not ice cream, some people can eat cheese but not drink milk. I’ve found that it is best to cut out dairy altogether. I eat the kind of cheese that isn’t really cheese, the horrible “cheese food”, but not often. ( its mostly vegitable oil, but more companies are putting Real Dairy in their cheese food, and you can only eat so much of that stuff). If you suspect that you are lactose intolerant ( which can develop later in life), cut out dairy and see if you feel better. Or severly limit the dairy in things you like to eat…only eat really small amounts.

    Its my crank theory that one reason so many Indians are obese, is that they don’t digest sugar that well, and over time will develop diabetes. I have trouble with sugar myself, and I wonder if anyone else here has the same problem? I can eat fruit, but cake is unpalletable to me. I use fake sugar, or I use apple juice in cooking instead of sugar. I can eat bread…but I can smell the sugar in bread and I avoid bread with a high sugar content.

    Regards,

    Lynne

    #19634

    lynne pepper
    Participant

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by 1_optimistic

    [B]If you don’t mind by me asking, what do you mean by “Bleeders?” I’ve come to the conclusion that I am Lactose Intolerant…….my intermediate family too.

    My father was in the hospital in January b/c he was bleeding severly.

    Sorry to hear that, Erica. I hope he’s OK now. One of the really dangerous things about bleeding, is that internal bleeding is a very big problem. Good wishes going his way……take care of yourself.

    Regards,

    Lynne

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